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languages of the far East, where each word taken by itself may belong to any one of the parts of speech. Thus in Siamese luk mei, “son + tree,” is "fruit,” , “mother + water,” is “stream,chai plau, “ heart + empty,” is “extravagance," while in Burman kay khyan, “rescue + thing,” is “deliverance,” li gale, “horse + young," is "boy,” ran prì, "strife + make," is "to contend." But it is in Chinese that the principle has been carried out to its fullest extent. Out of the 44,500 words in the imperial dictionary of Kang-hi, 1097 begin with (or are formed upon) sin, “the heart.” So, too, thyan, “the sky,” in the general sense of "time,” serves to define a whole class of words. Chun thyan is “spring," h'ya thyan, " summer," chyeu thyan, "autumn," tung thyan, "winter;" tso thyan is yesterday, kin thyan, “to-day. Tsi by itself is at once "finger” and “pointing,” but the

"" combination with it of thau, “the head," renders its meaning at once unquestionable. No doubt can arise as to the signification of tau and lu, which both mean "road” when they are joined together, any more than in the case of such combinations or compounds as kling sung, “light-heavy,” i.e. “weight,” or fil-mu, “fathermother," i.e. "parents.” Sometimes not only two, but six or seven words may be united, and the whole combination used as one word with a single meaning of its own ; thus in Kiang-nan a man may say: phrau-tuchi-chwen, "pleasure + play + eating + drinking," with

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1 So in Malagassy reni-landy, “ mother + silk,” means the silkworm,” reni-tantely, “mother + honey,” “the bee." Van der Tuuk : “Outlines of a Grammar of the Malagassy Language," p. 7.

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the common signification of the pleasures of life.? Usage, however, determines the order and employment of these compound expressions ; thus the phrase just quoted would run in the northern provinces chi-l’o-phyau-tu, and it would often be incorrect to use the determinative of a certain class of words with a word which might seem naturally to belong to the same class. But it must be remembered that it is as impossible for an isolating language to think of the single word apart from the sentence or context as it is for polysynthetic language to do so, and Steinthal' remarks with justice that "the Chinaman never uses the root (or rather word] să alone, but always in conjunction with an object.”

Accentual rhythm is further employed to help out the meaning of a sentence. Where one word is defined by another, or accompanied by an "empty" word, the accent rests upon it ; where the two words are synonyms or mutually defining, the accent rests upon the second, though in some dialects on the first. Where four or five words are joined together, a secondary accent springs up by the side of the principal one, resting on the second word should the principal accent fall on the fourth or fifth.

Chinese literature is at once extensive and ancient, in spite of the destruction of it ascribed to the Emperor Chi-whang-ti (B.C. 221), a destruction, however, that could in no case have been complete, and is very possibly as legendary as Omar's destruction of the Alexandrine Library.' At all events, in the Shu-king, the classical his

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| Edkins: “ Grammar of the Mandarin Dialect," p. 111. 3 "Charakteristik," p. 122. 3 Only works on medicine, divination, and agriculture are said to tory of China, we have a work of Confucius himself, and the nine other Chinese classics, consisting of the five classics and four books, claim an equal or greater antiquity." In the Shi-king upwards of 300 odes have been preserved, many of them in rhyme, a Chinese invention which was rediscovered in Europe at a far later date, according to Nigra, by the Kelts. Besides the religious, or rather moral works, of Confucius, Mencius, and Lao-tse, Chinese literature comprised books upon almost every conceivable subject, including the famous “Tai-tsing-ye-tung-tse,” an encyclopædia of the arts and sciences in 200 volumes. It was published at the instance of the Emperor Kien-lung (A.D. 1735-95), and is but one example out of many of the encyclopædic labours of the Chinese savans. China has long since entered upon the period of its decrepitude; the perfection to which the examination-system has been carried has fossilized its civilization and dried up the springs of the national life; and if the Chinese people are ever to expand and progress again, it will rather be in the new worlds of America and Australia than in the effete Celestial Empire itself. But we must not forget that the beginnings of Chinese civilization are lost in a fabulous antiquity; when our own forefathers were sunk in abject barbarism or struggling through the gloom of the Dark Ages, China was building up the fabric of an isolated culture, and inventing writing and printing, silk have been exempted from the edict of destruction. A copy of the Shu-king, or “ Book of History," was, however, discovered subsequently in pulling down an old house.

i The earliest of these is the “Book of Changes," a sort of mystical geometry, compiled in prison by Wăn-Whang about 1150 B.C.

paper and the compass. In China we see a time-worn and decaying people, and since the language of a people is but the outward expression of its spirit, we must equally see in the Chinese language a time-worn and decaying form of speech.

CHAPTER IX.

COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY AND THE SCIENCE OF

RELIGION.

“For no thought of man made Gods to love or honour

Ere the song within the silent soul began,
Nor might earth in dream or deed take heaven upon her
Till the word was clothed with speech by lips of man.”

SWINBURNE.

“ Every legend fair Which the supreme Caucasian mind Carved out of Nature for itself."

TENNYSON.

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PLATO, in his “Phædrus," tells us how Sokrates, as he walked along the banks of the Ilisus, was questioned by Phædrus regarding the local legend of Boreas and Orithyia. And the answer which he puts into the mouth of his master is one full of interest and suggestion. “The wise are doubtful,” says Sokrates, “and if, like them, I also doubted, there would be nothing very strange in that. I might have a rational explanation that Orithyia was playing with Pharmacia, when a northern gust carried her over the neighbouring rocks; and this being the manner of her death, she was said to have been carried away by Boreas. There is a discrepancy, however, about the locality, as according to another version of the story she was taken from the Areopagus, and not from this

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